Law Enforcement Officer Vocational Certificate


Are you interested in helping others and making your community safe?

Do you get upset when you see others treated unfairly? Do you enjoy righting wrongs and helping others? If any of these are true about you, consider a career as a Law Enforcement Officer and be part of the solution to keeping your community safe and productive. Become the leader you were meant to be with the skills you will learn in the police academy at Gulf Coast State College.

The subjects covered in the academy will keep you interested and engaged. You will learn many subjects, such as firearms, basic first-aid, defensive tactics, constitutional law and many other subjects. You will have to demonstrate proficiency in the high liability areas of firearms, defensive tactics, vehicle operations n and first-aid.  Completion of the Law Enforcement Certificate Program can be used towards the completion of the Criminal Justice A.S. Degree.

WHat careers are possible with a Law enforcement officer certification?

Law Enforcement Officer jobs are available at the state and county levels.

  • The State of Florida has several State Law Enforcement Agencies, such as the Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and  Tobacco, and many more.
  • There are 67 counties in Florida, and all employ Deputy Sheriff Officers.
  • There are several municipalities in Florida that employ police officers. Municipalities in Bay County that employ police officers are Lynn Haven, Mexico Beach, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and the City of Parker.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed this program and other important information, please visit

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Contact the Corrections Program Coordinator


Who is eligible for apply for the law enforcement certificate To program?

To be eligible to apply to the program, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be at least 19 years of age
  • Not discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions
  • Be of good moral character and NOT have been convicted of a felony, or any misdemeanor involving lying or perjury
  • Complete a physical examination by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant attesting capability of performing essential functions of the officer position
  • Submit to and pass background investigation that includes a fingerprint check
  • Passing score on the Florida Basic Abilities Test.

WHY CHOOSE GULF COAST STATE COLLEGE TO EARN YOUR law enforcement officer certificate?

  • If you haven’t already been to Gulf Coast’s North Bay campus, you should know that we’re located just north of Southport. 
  • We have state of the art classrooms with the latest in electronic technology. Gulf Coast State College’s law enforcement academy also has five firing ranges, a driving range, and a multipurpose room for defensive tactics.
  • Our instructors are among the best in the field. We use active, former and retired law enforcement officers. You will benefit from their years of experience.

How do I apply for financial aid and scholarships?

There are many options available to help you pay for college. Find out more about  scholarships and financial aid at Gulf Coast State College.


How do I apply to the law enforcement certificate program?

If you wish to attend the law enforcement academy at Gulf Coast State College:

  1.  You must apply for admission to Gulf Coast State College, which can be done online at\admissions. Additionally, all students new to GCSC must complete the GCSC new student orientation. You can register for the GCSC new student orientation today.
  2.  You must complete the law enforcement academy application packet, available from Daryl White (, in its entirety, inclusive of completing all pages of the application, having the pages of the application that require notarization so notarized, providing all required documentation copies; and, providing a color, passport size (2 x 2 inch), current photo. Incomplete applications will not be accepted; and, will delay your entry into the law enforcement academy.
  3. You must successfully complete the CJBAT (Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test) for law enforcement (cost = $39); and, attain a passing score of 70 or above, under Florida law, on the CJBAT in order to enter the academy. The CJBAT is by appointment only, and can be scheduled through Pearson Vue Testing . Click on the search bar in the middle of the page next to “Readys, set, test” and type FDLE. When Florida Department of Law Enforcement comes up, click the link and then click on Basic Abilities Test (BAT). If you have any questions, please contact the testing center at 850-769-1551 ext. 3336 or at (*Note: Prior to taking the CJBAT you must present a valid state issued drivers license and your Social Security Card, no copies of either drivers license or Social Security Card will be accepted.)
  4.  You must submit to being fingerprinted, and successfully complete, the associated background investigation (cost = $85). If you have ever been convicted of any felony; or, any misdemeanor involving perjury, false statement, or any charge relating to domestic violence, you are ineligible to attend any law enforcement academy in the State of Florida. Also, if you were convicted of a felony as a juvenile; you cannot be in the constructive possession of a firearm until you are twenty-four years of age and will therefore not be able to attend the law enforcement academy until said age is attained.
  5.  You must submit to, and successfully pass, a physical examination (your cost) performed by a Florida licensed Physician (MD), Nurse Practitioner (ARNP); or, Physician’s Assistant (PA). The academy physical MUST be completed on CJSTC Form 75-B, that is contained within the attached law enforcement academy application. NOTE: If for any reason, medical or otherwise, you are incapable of being exposed to Oleo-Resin Capsicum (commonly known as pepper spray) you will not be able to attend the academy. Additionally, within the first two weeks of the academy you must undertake a physical fitness test comprised of a maximum effort vertical jump, maximum effort push-ups for one minute, maximum effort sit-ups for one minute, a 300 meter run; and, a 1.5 mile walk/run. The exact same test will be administered during the last two weeks of the academy in order to determine if satisfactory physical fitness progress over the course of the academy was achieved.
  6.  Complete an pre-entrance interview with Daryl White (, scheduled by appointment only, when you have fully completed all of the law enforcement academy application materials. This means that you have completely filled out all of the law enforcement academy application pages, have had the forms that require notarization so notarized, have all of the required documentation copies, have your color passport size photo, have successfully passed the CJBAT exam, have had your fingerprints rolled for the background investigation; and, have had your physical exam. Incomplete applications will not be accepted; and, will delay your entry into the law enforcement academy.

 Consult the Gulf Coast State College Catalog for specific program and course information.

2022-2023 Catalog Requirements

Courses CH
+=CJK0002, Introduction to Law Enforcement 0.4v
+=CJK0016, Communication 0.8v
+=CJK0018, Legal 2.3v
+=CJK0019, Interviewing and Report Writing 1.9v
+=CJK0063, Fundamentals of Patrol 1.3v
+=CJK0021, Serving Your Community 1.1v
+=CJK0072, Crimes Against Persons 1.6v
+=CJK0073, Crimes Involving Property and Society 0.4v
+=CJK0079, Crime Scene Follow-Up Investigations 1.1v
+=CJK0400, Traffic Incidents 0.4v
+=CJK0401, Traffic Stops 0.8v
+=CJK0402, Traffic Crash Investigations 1.0v
+=CJK0403, DUI Traffic Stops 0.8v
+=CJK0093, Critical Incidents 1.5v
+=CJK0020C, Law Enforcement CMS Vehicle Operations 1.6v
+=CJK0031C, CMS First Aid for Criminal Justice Officers 1.3v
+=CJK0040C, Law Enforcement CMS Criminal Justice Firearms 2.7v
+=CJK0051C, CMS Criminal Justice Defensive Tactics 2.7v
+=CJK0422, Conducted Electrical Weapon/Dart-Firing Stun Gun 0.1v
+=CJK0096, Criminal Justice Officer Physical Fitness Training 2.0v



• General Education Core.

+ Prerequisites and/or corequisites required.  See course descriptions.

# Applies to A.S. degree and certificate programs.

= Career Certificate course.

* Minimum grade of "C" required.

 firearms training with flashlight

firearms training

Firearms training is one of the four high liability subjects which requires a student to demonstrate proficiency.


Department Chair

Bruce Harber
850.769.1551 ext. 5601